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Jaume Aguiló: fourth generation of Can Jaume Artesans

"I have grown up and lived in the Mercat de l'Olivar, one of the hearts of Mallorca"

Jaume Aguiló is the fourth generation of Can Jaume Artesans, mercat de l'Olivar, member of the Union of Users for twenty-five years, and president of Mercat for about a decade. All this time he has seen the market change and adapt. Now, like all its small merchants and craftsmen, he fears that the end of this iconic place will be near.

Today is his birthday, that's why Jaume Aguiló apologizes while he attends to the congratulations and good wishes of clients and colleagues. Despite the pleasant interruptions - it is always to be appreciated that one is remembered in his day-, Jaume speaks long and hard with us, of the problems of the market, of its virtues, of what the future holds.

Jaume, what are the advantages of municipal markets over large areas?

In the market there is a variety of products that range from the most economical and accessible to what is of the best quality and therefore better price. This means that, depending on what the customer needs, we advise you on the product you are looking for without having to travel to other places. Here are professionals who can advise and offer all the information that consumers require. If you take this routinely and become customary, gastronomic culture grows, not only on the local product, as globalization makes it easier for customers to order and get products and cuts from different parts of the world.

What are the main problems facing the Olive Market?

We need accessibility, and we don't know why City Council politicians want to narrow it down. That people can drive here is crucial for the life of small business, because the markets house many small traders, with their professional staff.

Cohabitation is the smartest option: there are cars, motorbikes, bicycles, electric scooters... that give people freedom of movement and allow them to get anywhere, but some people strive to believe that a city without engines is a better city. I would remind you that when you need utilities like police, ambulance, firefighters... they want them to be motorized and as soon as possible. If we return to the question... our main problem is that they want to kill us by closing the accessibility to the small shops in here. If they close and pedestrianize the car lane surrounding the market, the people who come to do their weekly shopping will stop coming... and that agreement was reached with the City Council stipulating that the market would, in fact, pay for it, a parking lot as long as that lane for vehicles existed.

Here are professionals who can advise and offer all the information that consumers require

Today it seems that meat consumption is overlooked by some sectors of society, even many claim that it is environmentally unsustainable. What does an expert meat craftsman have to say about it?

I would tell you never to forget where we come from or where we're going. Without the meat sector we probably would not have made any progress on food issues as we have. Animal protein, it is well known, is the easiest to obtain and digest; that at the moment we want to be so drastic and believe that meat consumption is not sustainable... to be told to countries that are hungry and to which we do not give vegetables.

I just want to remember that when someone was sick, the one who could slaughter a chicken and gave him to take the meat and broth to improve... - told by my father - and of this not a hundred years ago. I would also like to remind you that then the one who ate meat was privileged. Maybe nowadays there are those who abuse meat. I imagine that you have to go towards a moderate diet in which all the food and exercise fit. As my grandparents said, you have to eat everything in moderation, because all excesses hurt.

That people can drive here is crucial to the small business life

Nor have I ever understood the need for people to announce what kind of food they are. If someone is vegan and able not to brag about it, it will be as beautiful as the ones we eat about everything. Is being vegan superior to others?

What types of product does Can Jaume Artesans offer?

We've got the usual cuts. What is different is the quality of the meat we sell. We seek the highest quality, well-fed animals with a special flavor. We have a peasant that raises the calves in Mallorca, extensively, which means that they are outdoors. Its feeding is that of the field, and when there is not enough it is given the one that has been sown and collected for this purpose. The meat of animals raised in these conditions has a different and very good taste.

As a novelty we have incorporated the matured meats, which are so fashionable. But twenty years ago you showed this type of meat to a Mallorcan and didn't want to hear or hear, because you had the belief that the fresher the meat, the more vitamins and proteins. It was very difficult to make people understand that a flesh that was not rosy or shiny was good.

We seek the highest quality, well-fed animals with a special flavor

And what do you think of the Mallorcan porc negre?

He's a very tasty kind of meat, I think I'd even say he's a standard-bearer of our islands. When our grandparents had a white pig they treated it as an isolated, anecdotal fact. Today we have recovered this type of breed for good, as it is a type of pig that is among the best in the world. Even China, or Japan, now I don't remember well which country it was, is studying its fats because they are very different from those of other pig breeds, and it is being shown that they are more beneficial than harmful.

In addition, the sobrassadas made with the meat of this animal are highly appreciated, we must not forget that in our matances, which should not be lost, we raise an animal for a year to be able to feed with an exquisite product.

When our grandparents had a white pig they treated it as an isolated and anecdotal fact

They say that from the pig are good until walking, a phrase that in times of hunger was taken into account, because of this animal you can take advantage of everything, bones, bacon, salted ribbing for preservation... with a piece of salted bacon, for example, you can enjoy typical dishes of Mallorcan cuisine that are incredibly delicious.

Let's talk about birds now, how can we distinguish an authentic country chicken from another that has only been fed with dyes to yellow its meat?

Today there are many kinds of chickens, and that should not confuse us. To be sure that we buy chicken of the quality we want, or the type of bird we want, I refer at the beginning of this interview: you have to go to the professionals. They are the ones who can give the right advice and information, are the professional craftsmen and you find them in the small shop, the expert trader knows you and you know him, and this is the best way to make sure that you acquire what you are looking for.

There had been no chicken slaughterhouses in Mallorca for quite some time, and now, for just three months, there has been one again.
It was barbaric, it couldn't be that there was no chicken slaughterhouse. It is true that for a few months there has been one in Inca, and it is assumed that from now on we will be able to have zero kilometer birds, because within this slaughterhouse you can sacrifice chickens, turkeys, chickens, ducks... In addition, and taking into account that in bird slaughterhouses there is usually a space reserved for rabbits, if the production of these animals in Mallorca begins we can also have rabbit meat.

In this sense the work of the peasants is very important. Right now there are egg-producing hen farms, but they could not be slaughtered in Mallorca. So the animals would take to Ibiza or Menorca by boat, and then they would be brought back to Mallorca. For now the inca slaughterhouse works with greenies, but we hope that it will gradually expand the time and the number of animals that can slaughter

As for the cattle slaughterhouse, how's the situation? Because it looked like he was also destined for closure.


In this sense an agreement has been reached with the municipality of Palma so that the slaughterhouse is not closed. Cort will give a subsidy to bear the expenses that the scorxers inevitably have, so that it is not so in deficit.

How do you think the Administration has to act?

I believe that any city council should ensure the maintenance of these facilities and assume that they are essential to have proper health control. An abattoir, by law, always implies the presence of food security authorities. It is to be appreciated that the city has the necessary instruments to maintain a safe food network, from the place of production to the table itself.

We say goodbye to Jaume Aguiló with one last reflection: you have to take care of the small business, taste it, enjoy it and, if possible, brag about it, because these professionals depend on the identity of a town, and a community, in this case the Balearic Islands.


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